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Protect yourselves, says AfriForum

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Johannesburg - Residents of Boschkop and Cullinan, east of Pretoria, should safeguard themselves because police were absent in their areas, civil rights group AfriForum said on Saturday.

“The police is absent, leadership is non-existent and the police officers at ground level cannot implement effective policing without the necessary sources and leadership,” AfriForum safety head Ian Cameron said in a statement.

“Self-safety is the only effective way in which South Africans can help ensure their protection. It's a let-down that government is failing to execute this crucial duty to the citizens of the country.”

Cameron was reacting after four people were killed in Boschkop and Cullinan in the past week, including a suspected robber.

Police spokeswoman Captain Marissa van der Merwe said a business owner and a robber were killed in a robbery at a shop in Boschkop.

Two men, pretending to be customers, went to the Charlie General Dealer, which was part of the owner's house on a smallholding on Monday.

They entered the shop asking to buy a bag of maize.

Van Der Merwe said the business owner's wife, Ralie Groenewald, 72, opened the security gate to hand the maize to them.

One of the men throttled her while the other gunman entered the main bedroom in the house and disrupted the 76-year-old shop owner who was asleep. There was a struggle and Charlie Groenewald was shot in the chest and died on the scene. The two robbers fled the scene.

Police said one of the robbers was wounded in the struggle. He was found dead about a kilometre from the shop with a gunshot wound in his stomach.

The other man was still at large.

AfriForum said more crimes were committed in the Boschkop and Cullinan areas in the past week and some were gang-related.

He said Louis and Sandra Swanepoel of Mooiplaats, Boschkop, were killed on Friday.

Van Der Merwe said the bodies were found by their son. Police could not say how they were killed.

The Beeld reported that the woman had sustained a gunshot wound, and the man had no visible injuries. - Sapa


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